Here is a list of the clinical and non-clinical roles within our practices, giving details of their functions and responsibilities.
General Practitioner (GP)
GPs are usually the main clinician who treats patients with a physical or mental health problem and are available in our practice daily. They are, however, part of a much wider clinical team which promotes, prevents and carries out treatment. GPs work as part of a large multidisciplinary team which all support the holistic, all-round care of the patient. This can include Practice Nurses, Pharmacists, Emergency Care Practitioners and Healthcare Assistants. GPs treat all common medical conditions and refer patients to hospital and other medical services for urgent and specialist treatment. GPs focus on the health of the whole person, combining physical, psychological and social aspects of care. Some of our GPs have special interests in certain medical conditions. Your GP may refer you to these specialised GPs for treatment of your condition.
Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP)
ANPs are medically trained to treat patients and prescribe for them. ANPs are educated to Masters Level in advanced practice and are assessed as competent in practice, using expert knowledge and skills. They have the freedom and authority to act, making autonomous decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients. ANPs develop close relationships with their patients and work in partnership with them to achieve their best health. ANPs also make their own decisions on the assessment, diagnosis and interpretation of test results. They are also able to independently prescribe appropriate medication and evaluate or refer to other specialists if necessary. ANPs liaise closely with GPs in practice.
Practice Nurses work in GP surgeries as part of the primary healthcare team. The Practice Nurse looks after a whole spectrum of patient care, from managing chronic diseases to health screening – for example, cytology (smear tests) – and immunisations, including flu, pneumococcal and for babies. They carry out a wide range of roles allowing them to develop long-term relationships with individuals and families to enable them to better manage their conditions and improve patients’ physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Advanced Practitioner/Healthcare Assistants (HCAs)
Advanced Practitioners and HCAs have an important role in general practice, providing valuable assistance to GPs and Practice Nurses. Our HCAs are trained to carry out care of patients independently, in line with their qualifications and competencies, with access to a Practice Nurse or GP for support when necessary. HCAs look after chronic disease reviews, hypertension (blood pressure) reviews and give health screening to new patients.
Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP)
The ECP is a new and developing role in general practice. Our ECPs work autonomously and are able to triage patients and advise on general healthcare and promote self-management of health to patients. They are able to treat and prescribe to patients within the scope of their remit. ECPs are able to provide appropriate treatment, diagnostics, care and support.
Pharmacists play a significant part in management of medicines within primary care. They have a strategic role to focus on maximising benefit and minimising risk associated with medicines as well as making the best use of resources allocated for medication. Our Pharmacists are either prescribers or training to become prescribers and will take responsibility for some aspects of care management of patients with chronic diseases, including undertaking clinical medication reviews to proactively manage patients and their care.
These staff play a crucial role in helping patients to get the right support at the right time to manage a wide range of needs. Care Navigators are part of the multi-disciplinary team and help to identify and signpost people to available services, acting as a link between the patient and the clinical staff. They direct patients to the best clinicians for their condition.
These are dedicated staff in surgeries that provide support and assistance within their defined categories, including palliative care, dementia or carers. The list of Champions is displayed in practice with further details on the roles. The different Champions are:
Learning Disabilities: Dedicated champion who specialises in the care of our patients with a learning disability. The register is monitored to ensure patients are reviewed regularly.
Palliative Care/End of Life: Dedicated champion for palliative care and end of life supports patients coming to the end of their lives and families when facing the loss of a loved one.
Carers: Dedicated carers’ champion offers advice and support to those looking after someone who cannot care for themselves. Regular contact is maintained with the local carers centre and patients to ensure appropriate services and support are in place
Cancer: Dedicated cancer champion who contacts all patients newly diagnosed with cancer to ensure they have all systems and processes in place for their follow up, medication and they also offer general support.
Long term conditions: Dedicated champion to support compliance with annual reviews which means better control of long term conditions and better quality of life for our patients. Extra-long appointments offer convenience and reduce time off work because all conditions are reviewed together at one appointment.
Cytology: Dedicated champion to support compliance with the implementation of cervical smears within practice, based on government and NHSE guidelines.
Mental Health And Mental Wellbeing: Dedicated champion to support patients with mental health and mental wellbeing concerns. Regular contact is maintained and patients are aware that support is available to signpost to appropriate services and provide advice as required.
Dementia: Dedicated champion to support patients with dementia and their families. Regular contact is maintained to provide support and signpost patients to other services.
DOLS: Dedicated champion to support the practice with Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) related queries/concerns.
Military Veterans: Dedicated champion to support the practice in liaising with military veterans and serving service personnel. Regular contact is maintained and patients are aware of the champion who can signpost to appropriate services and provide support as required.
Sepsis: Dedicated champion to support patients who have had a sepsis diagnosis to ensure appropriate services and support are in place. A register is monitored to ensure correct clinical pathways are followed and learning points shared.
Patient Liaison Officer: Dedicated champion to promote services offered by the practice to new and existing patients and obtain feedback. Regular contact is made with existing PPG members and promotions sent out to patients to encourage members to join.
Safeguarding: Dedicated safeguarding champion who works closely with the clinical safeguarding leads to ensure all patients - both children and adults - are offered advice and support. Regular contact is maintained with the local safeguarding team and the register is monitored and reviewed regularly. Feedback is given at each practice/safeguarding meeting.
COVID: Dedicated COVID champion to support compliance and safety is in place for staff and patients. Regular updates are circulated and new guidance implemented in a safe and effective way.
Suicide: Dedicated champion who helps clinicians to support patients who have expressed suicidal thoughts or experienced the suicide of someone close to them. Regular contact is maintained with patients and awareness is raised of help and support.
Loneliness/Isolation: Dedicated champions to consolidate welfare checks on our patients to make sure they are being supported socially. Including their ability to look after themselves in terms of shopping for essentials, having interaction with people on the phone or having someone drop off medication.
Bereavement: Dedicated champion who engages with families which have lost loved ones, offering support and signposting to other available services.
Safeguarding: Dedicated champion who further enhances safeguarding practice and ensure that consistent, current, competent advice and support is available locally.
Young Families: Dedicated champion to engage with families and young people, monitoring health requirements, such as child immunisations, vaccine recommendations for young adults, such as MMR and MenACWY, along with encouraging engagement in sexual health programmes and awareness.